June 7, 2013
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On the effectual call to salvation:
But why is it that when the gospel is preached only some believe? The answer is that the gospel itself has no power to quicken the dead. Just as light has no power to give sight to the blind, so the gospel has no power to restore understanding to spiritually blind people. “It is the spirit that quickeneth,” said Jesus (John 6:63). Without a direct work of the Spirit in the heart, men may hear what the preacher says, and may even enjoy it; but they will never he convinced and converted. It was so with some who heard Ezekiel preach! “Lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that bath a pleasant voice,” said the Lord, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not” (Ezek. 33:32). This is What the Bible means when it speaks of having ears and not being able to hear. It means that people can hear the words (sounds) without appropriating them (the meaning). But when the Holy Spirit regenerates the heart the word has its effect.
G. I. Williamson. Westminster Shorter Catechism
October 21, 2012
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Do you want sofa settees in church?
Evangelizing children and training them in godly precepts is indeed tough. Truth be told, discipleship (whether at home or church) like any apprenticeship can actually be dull, tedious, and hard. In fact the results of mastering the doctrines taught may not necessarily be immediate. But this does not mean we ought to take short cuts nor does it mean we should slacken up by bringing in these bells and whistles to create a “fun environment” or cushioning the seats in church (though there is nothing necessarily wrong with that). Starr Meade makes a good point …
When it comes to evangelizing our children, I suggest that the best thing we can do is to provide diligent, systematic teaching, both of redemption history (Bible stories) and doctrinal truth (what God meant to communicate through those stories). It will take years to evangelize children through such involved teaching-but then, God entrusts them to us for years, doesn’t he? Great trees require years to grow, but they stand strong, resistant, and fruitful through decades.
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